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About Fran Becque, Ph.D.
Welcome! Chances are good you found this blog by searching for something about fraternities or sororities.
The history of Greek-letter organizations (GLOs) - fraternities and sororities - is one of my great passions. I was the last person anyone would have suspected of joining a sorority in college. I am sure I would have agreed with them, too.
When I made my way to Syracuse University, I saw the houses with the Greek letters that edged Walnut Park, and wished I could tour them. My roommate suggested I sign up for rush (as it was then called, today it’s known as recruitment) and go through the house tour round and then drop out of rush. It sounded like a plan. I didn’t realize that I would end up pledging.
In this blog I will share the history of GLOs and other topics. I wrote a dissertation on “Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902.″ It chronicles the growth of the system and the birth of the National Panhellenic Conference.
My Master's thesis details the history of the fraternity system at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1948-1960. The dates are significant ones and the thesis is available on the top menu.
I have done research at the Student Life Archives and have written several histories of University of Illinois fraternity chapters for the Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing.
Other topics having to do with higher education also come into play. P.E.O., a Philanthropic Education Organization, was founded as a collegiate organization. I am a P.E.O. and I like to talk about its history. Colleges with which I have a personal connection - Knox College, Mount Holyoke, Washington and Lee, University of Michigan, Syracuse University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, to name a few - also find their way into these posts.
Thanks for dropping by! I hope you’ll follow my blog. We who enjoy fraternity and sorority history need to stick together. I put together a Pinterest board about fraternity and sorority history. It is at pinterest.com/glohistory/.
Category Archives: Kappa Sigma
Yesterday, January 8, was spent in a car driving from Florida to Illinois. I sat in the back seat between our two dogs. For one day, they had my undivided presence and attention. Yesterday was also my birthday. It’s a … Continue reading
Five GLOs were founded on December 10. The theme of the foundings is a common one in the history of Greek-letter organizations, “let’s create a society of our own.” The University of Virginia was the founding campus of the oldest of … Continue reading
Last week Facebook reminded me that it had been a year since I posted this photo. A year!! How could that be? Then I remembered that Carol Warren, Pi Phi’s past NPC Delegate asked me if I ever figured out … Continue reading
Five GLOs were founded on December 10. The theme of the foundings is a common one in the history of Greek-letter organizations, “let’s found a society of our own.” The University of Virginia was the founding campus of the oldest … Continue reading
Summer is convention season for Greek-Letter Organizations and it has been for more than a century. In the 1800s, conventions tended to take place during the academic year or over the Christmas holiday. While many GLOs have different names for … Continue reading
From the heartwarming stories file: In 1950, while a student at the University of North Texas, Jack Marr became a member the Falcon Fraternity, a local organization which was hoping to join a national organization. After graduating in 1952, Marr … Continue reading
Harper Lee, Chi Omega, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird, announced the publication of her second book, Go Set a Watchman. She finished the book in the mid-1950s and it has the same characters and is set … Continue reading
Today, January 8, is the date of Dr. Charles Richardson’s birth. If he was still alive he’d be a well preserved 151. A Fayetteville, Arkansas, dentist, he did his undergraduate work at Emory & Henry College in Virginia and then studied dentistry … Continue reading
Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America 1959, died yesterday at the age of 75. She was a Chi Omega from the University of Mississippi. In 1960, as the outgoing Miss America, she crowned Lynda Lee Mead. Both were initiated into the Tau chapter … Continue reading
A quick look at the photo on my twitter feed told me that this wasn’t an ordinary fraternity house. It looked like a lodge building. And in fact it was. The Marquette University chapter of Kappa Sigma has just moved into … Continue reading